Akari and Mikoto talk about the situation with Eclipse. Both of them are confident, in the end.

Date: 2018-11-03
Pose Count: 23
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 00:55:15 99651
The sun is setting, the weather's getting chilly, and Akari is pacing nervously around Mikoto's hideout. It's clear that something has her slightly nervous, or possibly very nervous, but she doesn't particularly know what to do about it yet. Rubindorn, now tucked back into her shirt, is on full alert for anyone entering who shouldn't be.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 00:58:07 99652
The only one entering right now is Mikoto herself, on her way back from a session with the strategy-game club at school, running late. She's decided to make up for it by stopping to pick up dinner on the way home, some quality Indian takeaway. Hopefully that will keep Akari-chan from feeling the need to yell at her.

There's a 'bleep' from the security system, the beep-code that indicates a friendly is approaching, and then the door opens and Mikoto sweeps in, long coat swirling around her as she kicks the door closed behind her. She holds up the bag of takeout triumphantly. "Oi, Akari-chan! Ready for dinner? I have slain the wild vindaloo!"
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 01:04:12 99653
Akari is not worried about Mikoto's lateness.

"Oh, Mikoto-chan!" she says, relieved. "If ... yeah, uh, dinner would be excellent right now ..." She blinks. "... and I just realized I haven't actually visited Korma Chameleon since the birthday party, ahaha, I even told Terios-san ... in my, uh, other form ... that I was going to order out at some point ..."

Yep, really nervous.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 01:08:33 99654
Mikoto did, indeed, stop at Korma Chameleon - after all, the food is good, and she can help a friend's family, especially by tipping well - and the smell of it is already filling the room. "Well, I'm not sure who-all knows which you is you, so I didn't mention it was for anyone but me and Akari-chan. So if she knows, then she knows."

She shrugs and sets the bag on a table, then steps over to sweep Akari into a tight hug. A kiss is pressed to each of the girl's cheeks. "Now, come sit down and eat. You look like you can use it."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 01:14:11 99655
Akari nods. "Yeah, I'm not 'out' to her yet." She giggles at the turn of phrase. "But it's ... only gonna be a matter of time." She promptly sits down and starts eating.

After she's only taken a few bites, she says, "So there was this shadowy figure on a screen when Frau Doktor activated me, he's the one who assigned her as my handler, and apparently, when Lacrima-san sent in the paperwork to let me out of Eclipse, he said 'no' and ordered her to capture me." She says this almost all in one breath. "... and ... she ... doesn't want to, but you can't disobey a direct order when it comes from one of the shadowy figures, so ... now she's trying to round up people who can protect me. From herself."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 01:25:25 99656
Mikoto settles down and dishes out the food, so we can start to eat. She's gotten a good portion of butter chicken, plenty of rice, some garlic naan, and a couple of desserts as well.

She listens quietly while Akari lays out what happened. "I sort of half expected this, really. There's a reason I never tried to really dissociate myself from WPS, even after I knew who they were really working for. It's... well, someone like Sailor Moon would probably say it isn't right, but it's safer. And it lets me keep working for the real cause -- stopping the monster attacks."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 01:37:02 99657
Akari blinks. "... I was kind of wondering why you were sticking with WPS, actually," she says. "Honestly, I don't think you'd be in as much danger. Riventon-san lets people go from UMBRA all the time, when he's the one who hired them. But in my case ..."

She sighs. "The mystery man sort of wants me in particular, I think. One of the first things he asked Frau Doktor after I learned Japanese was whether there were more of me, whether I could be replicated, and whether I could be controlled." She grimaces. "The answers were no, no, and I volunteered."

She shakes her head. "I don't think there's really any chance of anything really bad happening," she says. "It's just ... urghhhh." She smiles weakly. "Y'know?"
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 01:44:35 99658
Mikoto grinds her teeth as she considers the implications. "Mister Mystery doesn't want a follower, he wants a weapon. A tool." Her grip on her chopsticks is strong enough to break one, and with a snort of disgust she thrusts them aside to reach for another. "I promise you, love, you are no mere tool."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 01:51:56 99660
Akari nods. "Exactly!" she says, also sounding mildly disgusted. "I wouldn't be surprised if he had some funny ideas about ..."

She hesitates. "... I just realized that Lacrima-san is probably going to try to contact you in particular," she says. "I just remembered ... After you met Frau Doktor at the facility, I told her that 'Hagane' was my girlfriend in her civilian identity, and I couldn't stop laughing." She grins. "But anyway, Lacrima-san probably knows you're someone who'll help protect me." She shrugs. "In which case, could you please ask her for more details? I feel like I only got a summary of a summary when Sailor Mercury tracked me down and told me about it."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 02:05:11 99661
"If he tries anything of the sort," Mikoto growls out, "WPS or no, I will find a way to show him exactly how angry that makes me. And then I will kill him... slowly."

Finally, she relaxes, and manages to return to eating a bit. "I'll be sure to do that. She seems like a decent sort overall, despite the whole... you know."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 02:15:25 99663
Akari tenses up slightly. "I meant, uh, 'reprogramming' me," she says. "But yeah." She shakes her head. "I told Sakura-imoutochan a little while you got here, by the way. She gave me Mamoru Chiba's address and tried to bring me over then and there." She shrugs. "I didn't want to just disappear on you unannounced, though."

She eats a bit more, considers this. "During the ... incident ... where Sakura-imoutochan convinced me to leave Eclipse, two of the Knights of Waldia and two Senshi offered to help me out in case, uh, this exact sort of thing happened." She smiles. "Logically, I know I have enough people protecting me that basically nothing bad is actually going to happen? It's just ... I guess I feel irrationally tense about all this." She pauses. "And I still need to get purified at some point ... if we can find someone who's good enough that they could purify my actual Linker Core ..."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 02:25:11 99664
"There's nothing irrational about it at all," Mikoto insists. "Many of us would fight to protect you, certainly, but that only helps if you're with us when they come for you. Or we go after you to get you back."

She reaches out to take Akari's hand. "We'll find a way. Somehow. And even if we can't get you 'purified', I'll still love you. The darkness is a part of what I fell in love with, after all."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 02:31:02 99665
Akari smiles and nods, giving Mikoto's hand a gentle squeeze. "Well, I mean, I would really rather not be irrational and aggressive and periodically just lose control and turn into a darkness-monster like I did on that rooftop, when I'm in that other form," she says wryly.

She looks down at herself. "... I'll probably look different, too, y'know. In one of my examinations, we found out that the Dark Energy in my Linker Core has a direct line to my tattoos and the cybernetics on my eyes." She shrugs. "Wouldn't be surprised if my hair changed to this color, too." She fiddles with the hair she has now.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 02:43:14 99666
"If it's what you want, then it's what we'll do," Mikoto promises. "And if your hair color changes in that other form?" She shrugs. There's a mechanical 'beep' sound - from Carnwennan - and her own hair shimmers and changes to a familiar electric blue. "So what?"
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 02:44:28 99667
Akari giggles. "Okay, yeah," she says. "... I mean, I wasn't quite expecting us to match up that way, but, uh, yeah."

She turns her attention back to the meal for a moment. Then she looks up and says, "Um, Miko-chan?" She hesitates, and then says, "Thank you. For everything."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 02:52:42 99668
"Just a little trick I worked out a while ago." Mikoto grins and shakes her head, and now she's sporting cat-ears that poke up through that sapphire hair. "All kinds of little things you can do."

She reaches across the table again, then, to clasp Akari's hand once more. "You are welcome, my dear. In both senses. To my home, and to my heart."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 02:54:09 99669
Akari just smiles and nods, a blush crossing her cheek. In spite of her tension, in spite of her worries about the future, she's perfectly happy to spend time with Mikoto like this.

"... You're going to have to give me a different nickname from the one you have for your sister, though," she adds pointedly.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 02:59:12 99670
Mikoto chuckles softly, smiling back, entirely pleased by the simple fact that Akari is happy. "Of course," she agrees. "Maybe I'll just call you Bell-chan."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 03:02:49 99671
Akari promptly grimaces. "... I ... don't know about that one," she says softly. "I'm still feeling sort of ... not that happy about what that's an abbreviation for, I think."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 03:07:30 99672
Mikoto nods, hmming softly. "Best to make it something good, then. Something to remember fondly. After all, it brought you to meet me, didn't it?" She squeezes Akari's hand again, those mobile cat-ears flickering briefly as she speaks.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 03:08:48 99673
Akari smiles and nods. "We'll think of something," she says, and pauses. "... After all, it hasn't failed us yet, has it?"
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-11-03 03:15:29 99674
"Exactly. Worst comes to worst... we'll fight. Against anyone who tries to break us apart." Mikoto smiles back, her eyes agleam, determined and fierce.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-03 03:17:06 99675
Akari grins. Truth be told, that sort of aggression is something she doesn't want any part of ... but, well, her gut says that it's safer for Mikoto, who doesn't have any Dark Energy inside her. "Sounds good to me!"